With the ever-growing amount of equipment a diver accumulates, one can often forget that we require a means by which to transport our gear. A sturdy, reliable dive bag is exactly the thing for the job. However, there are some considerations involved in the buying process. Duffel or roller bag? Which size? How many compartments? With the help of our buyer’s advice guide and product recommendations, you should be well on your way to selecting which is the best dive bag for you.
Best Scuba Diving Bags
#1 – Scubapro Caravan Diving Bag
The Scubapro Caravan is an excellent choice for those needing to carry heavy equipment over long distances. The bag has a variety of carrying options, from roller style to double-duffel hand straps, allowing you to choose the best option for you. Similarly, the bag is also designed to last the diver for a long time. It is constructed with 420D nylon as well as 450D ripstop fabric, making for a very tough and durable design. On top of this, the wheels of the bag are salt water resistant, resulting in greater longevity and operation.
- A large main compartment includes a U-shaped opening, two side pockets, and one flat pocket on top, allowing you to pack a variety of larger and smaller items.
- Made from a combination of 420D nylon not and 450D ripstop fabric, resulting in a tough and durable construction.
- The bag includes a bevy of carrying options, including double-duffel hand straps; side, top, and bottom carrying handles; and reinforced saltwater-resistant wheels with a telescoping tow handle.
#2 – Aqualung Explorer II Duffel Bag
The Aqualung Explorer II Duffel bag offers the diver a good trade-off between durability and lightweight construction. The bag is made of 1680D Polyester with a PVC coating, as well as having corrosion resistant zippers. Similarly, the base of the bag is padded with the addition of six corner guards, resulting in extra protection for your gear when travelling. The bag also has two exterior pockets, one of which is of mesh construction, allowing for wet gear to be held and dried whilst on the move. On top of this, the bag can be worn in backpack style, allowing for easier transport over long distances.
- Extra Durable 1680D Polyester with PVC coating
- Corrosion resistant zippers with extended pullers and lock holes
- Padded and protected V-Diamond base with 6 corner guards
- Two exterior organization pockets, one of them is mesh for drying extra wet gear
- Packable backpack straps that second as duffel handles
#3 – Cressi Gorilla XL Bag
The Cressi Gorilla XL is a simply constructed duffel bag, designed for heavy duty use. With a capacity of 135 litres, this makes for a lot of space for extra gear. It is made of strong radio frequency welded seams. The bag itself is also waterproof, making it ideal for boat usage.
- A large and roomy bag, plenty of space for storage. Internal capacity of 4. 75 cu ft (135 litres).
- It is made from a strong radio frequency (RF) welded seam PVC and is waterproof.
- 2 Shoulder straps and handle straps on both ends of the bag.
- Draining cap for washing bag and equipment at the same time.
#4 – Cressi Piper Bag
The Cressi Piper is an excellent option for those seeking a lightweight dive bag. With a two-stage telescopic handle and two exterior compression straps, the bag is perfect for air travel, making it a great companion for those looking to save on weight and space. The bag itself has a 50 litre capacity, making it large enough to carry the majority of a diver’s gear.
- Several zippers and a strong design ensure that your equipment will be able to be stored safely. Features a back ID pocket for identification.
- The interior of the Piper features compression straps and a side pocket to help organize your belongings.
- At 6 pounds and 1. 73 cubic feet, the Piper is light and great for traveling.
- The Piper is especially convenient for air travel, with a special 2 stage telescoping handle and 2 exterior compression straps with quick-release buckles.
#5 – Cressi Moby 5
The Cressi Moby 5 is the ideal bag for those needing to transfer heavy equipment for years to come. The large diameter wheels can be removed and replaced with ease, guaranteeing prolonged usage of the bag. The bag has a number of pockets to allow for gear separation, as well as adjustable straps that allow for conversion into a backpack. This makes for a very versatile bag. The construction is made out of 300 and 400 denier, combining lightweight and durable elements. The material also results in a very strong design which, coupled with the supporting rods, results in a high tolerance to heavy loads.
- Made with 300 and 400 Denier fabric that is light and very strong.
- The main compartment opens on three sides allowing easy access. There are two large pockets in the front with zip closures, two side pockets for fins and a small upper pocket that holds an address tag.
- There are two adjustable, padded, straps for carrying on the back that can be placed in special pockets when the backpack is being wheeled. The reinforced pull handle is telescopic and fully retractable.
- The wheels have a large diameter and can be removed and easily replaced in the event of breakage. There are two carrying handles: a reinforced one at the top and one with Velcro closure at the bottom.
- The back of the bag houses supporting rods to keep the Moby 5 in a vertical position. The Moby 5 measures 30 in (76 cm) height, 15.7 in (40 cm) long and 11 in (28 cm) wide. Capacity of 4 cubic feet (115 litres). Weight 10.6 lb (4.8 kg).
#6 – AKONA Globetrotter bag
The AKONA Globetrotter bag is an excellent choice for those looking for a simple backpack construction for travelling light. The bag has a capacity of 58 litres, and, due to its soft shell design, can be compressed in order to save space. Your fins can also fit on the outside of the bag, with the use of compression straps, allowing them to double up as exterior protection for the bag.
- Backpack style construction.
- Compression Straps are designed to secure your fins to the outside of the bag.
- 58 Litre capacity.
#7 – Fourth Element Expedition Series Duffel Bag
The Fourth Element Expedition Series Duffel bag is designed for the toughest of conditions. It is made of heavy duty mesh PVC, with double-lining. On top of this, it comes in varying capacities, that of 60, 90 and 120 litres, allowing you to select the correct dive bag size for your specific needs. It is available in either orange or blue, allowing for easy identification.
- Available in 60/90/120 litres.
- Available in a range of colours.
- Made from heavy duty mesh PVC, with double-lined bottom.
- Padded straps for backpack conversion.
- Large pouch for label identification.
What to Look for in a Dive Bag
Dive bags come in a variety of sizes. When selecting the size of your dive bag you need to think not only about all the equipment you have as of now, but also the likelihood of what else you will accumulate within the next 5-10 years. By so doing, you are guaranteeing that this will be a dive bag to serve all your needs for many years to come. That said, however, bigger is not always better. For someone who is looking to save on luggage costs when flying, and who therefore opts for lighter, smaller equipment models, a large dive bag will undercut your style.
Wheels & Telescopic Handle
If you know you are going to need to transfer a lot of equipment, adding up to a heavy total weight, then it would be advisable to invest in a bag with wheels and telescopic handle, rather than a two strap duffel bag, for example. If going to be used in an airport, wheels and a handle are ideal.
Some dive bags come with only one large compartment for all your equipment to be stored in, whilst others come with multiple pockets of different shapes and sizes. The latter enables you to separate your gear, allowing for better protection of fragile items, such as your regulator, for example. That said, however, the more compartments, the higher the price. Therefore, this comes down very much to personal preference.
In general, there are three styles of construction. The first is a heavy duty dive bag that focuses on durability and toughness, guaranteeing longevity even with a lot of abuse.
The second type of construction is that of more lightweight materials and flexibility, making for a dive bag that saves you weight and space when travelling.
The third type, unsurprisingly, is that of a middle way between the other two constructions, being a trade-off between durable and lightweight materials.
Which one is the better option for you largely comes down to personal preference. What can be said, however, is that if you don’t plan to travel by air with the bag, then going for a more heavy duty construction may not be the worst idea.
There are various types of dive bags. Which one you need is – of course – dependent on your personal needs. They can be summarised as follows:
A duffel bag has a simple construction that allows for a lot of capacity. They can come with multiple compartments for gear separation. They also usually lack any rigid interior/exterior framework or shell, allowing for compression if needed when squeezing into small spaces.
Mesh bags are designed primarily for use when on or near the dive site. For example, they make excellent bags for carrying lightweight items on the boat, such as an exposure suit, mask, fins, and regulator. Because of the mesh construction, they allow for drainage and thus quick drying of your equipment. However, mesh bags should not be used for the transportation of a full equipment set, particularly not if travelling via plane, as they are not in any way designed to protect your equipment and cannot hold large amounts of heavy gear.
Roller bags are ideal for those needing to transfer large amounts of heavy equipment. If planning to travel by air, then a roller bag is almost essential. The only con of the roller bag is the fact that they tend to be heavy due to their hard shell, wheels and handle. Similarly, as they afford such great protection, they cannot usually be compressed in order to fit into smaller spaces. This makes them less than ideal for those looking to save on weight.
Backpacks are a good option for those looking for an easy, convenient way to transport their equipment. They are perfect for those wishing to save on weight too. They usually work with your gear, having external pockets for your fins which themselves create an outer protective shell for the rest of your gear. They are also good for those having to transport heavy equipment over long distances by foot, or over undulating terrain where roller bags will not be able to operate.